What Is The Difference Between Hiking Shoes Vs Walking Shoes?

people wearing hiking shoes

We all enjoy camping because it gives us the finest chance to connect with nature. But many of us, especially when nature takes the place of our home for a few days, would be lost without our creature comforts. In the summer, a tent air conditioner or fan may keep your shelter cool, and string lights or a camping lantern can create a pleasant atmosphere in your outdoor living area. However, obtaining power continues to be one of the most significant problems for campers, particularly in remote locations.

What Is The Difference BetweenHiking Shoes Vs Walking Shoes?

Hikers need good-quality footwear to keep their feet safe while they carry out their daily activities. Many people know that hiking boots are made specifically for hiking, but what many don't realize is that they have become a fashion accessory. Not only do these stylish footwear give hikers a fashionable look, they are also comfortable and offer protection to the soles of their feet.

Some of the best brands of hiking shoes sold today include Teva, Merrell, Vibram Five Fingers and Keen. All of these brands make products that provide comfort, durability, safety and style, making them perfect for hiking enthusiasts.

What are hiking shoes?

Hiking shoes are footwear designed specifically for hiking, while walking shoes are designed for walking. Hiking requires long distances and steep terrain. Walking does not require any particular type of footgear. However, wearing loose-fitting clothing helps the body move efficiently because it avoids friction between the feet and legs, and also reduces the buildup of sweat in clothes. In addition, hiking shoes have extra ankle support and allow the knees to bend farther than a pair of casual sneakers. Casual sneakers are best suited for walks that last less than 30 minutes. These shoes feature high rubber soles that provide traction on walkways, sidewalks, and streets. If you're looking to make a purchase, then I suggest that you buy them online because they are cheaper.

What are walking shoes?

Walking shoes are footwear worn while walking around flat surfaces. These types of shoes are not designed for use on uneven surfaces such as grass or dirt. In fact, they were originally developed as a means of protecting people's feet while doing manual labor. Today, these types of shoes have become popular among runners due to their lightweight design. There are many different types of styles available depending on the activity being performed.

Why You Should Buy Hiking Shoes?

Hiking shoes are durable and protective, ensuring that your feet remain dry and warm throughout any hike. They provide excellent traction on wet surfaces, helping you to stay stable and steady during slippery conditions. These shoes are generally waterproof and often feature Gore Tex linings to prevent water seepage inside. Your foot will also benefit from the high grip level of the soles, which means you will find it much easier to climb over obstacles and traverse difficult terrain.

Hiking shoes come in various sizes, ensuring that they fit perfectly. They are also designed to be flexible and comfortable, providing you with proper arch support. There are numerous styles of hiking shoes available, including lace-up shoes, slip-on shoes, mocs and even trail runners. Whatever type of shoes you choose, make sure that you buy from reputable companies that sell quality footwear. Always check if the company offers a warranty before purchasing a pair of shoes.

Where to Get the Best Hiking Boots

To ensure that you get a pair of hiking boots that fits perfectly, visit a specialized store where employees can measure your feet and recommend boots based on your particular size. If you are not fortunate enough to live near a specialty store, then use the internet to locate a retailer that carries a range of different types of hiking boots.

If I Can't Find Hiking Boots Where I Live, Then What Should I Buy?

There are thousands of online retailers who specialize in selling hiking boots. In addition to offering a variety of styles and colors, many sites also allow customers to review the customer service provided by each company. Make sure that you read reviews before buying a pair of hiking boots.

Are Hiking Boots Safe and Durable?

While some people may think that hiking boots are just plain ugly, nothing could be further from the truth. Hiking boots are extremely secure, sturdy and stylish. They also help to improve your posture, which prevents back aches and injuries. When choosing a pair of hiking boots, take care to purchase footwear that provides maximum protection and stability.

Are Hiking Shoes Better Than Walking Shoes?

Hiking shoes are generally preferred over walking shoes for hiking (since they're designed to support your ankles), while walking shoes tend to be favored over hiking shoes for day-to-day use (because they're lighter & less bulky). So depending on what your need is for a shoe

Reasons Hiking Boots/shoes Are Not Great For Casual Walking

  1. Heavy

Hiking boots/shoes are not great for casual walking because they weigh down your feet. You have to carry them around and balance yourself while walking on uneven terrain. When your foot hits a bump, it causes your shoe to lift off the ground and cause you to lose your balance. A lot of people take these types of shoes off at the end of a hike so their feet don't get sore. But what do you put back on afterwards? Your hiking shoes!

  1. Bulky

The material that goes into making a pair of hiking boots/shoes is thick and heavy. This means that it takes up space inside your backpack if you plan to travel with it. If you plan on carrying them around for a long time, you might want to leave them behind.

  1. Uncomfortable on normal surfaces

If you are going to wear hiking boots/shoes on a regular basis, then you need to make sure that they fit your feet properly. Don't wear old sneakers or flip flops. Also, try out different styles of footwear before buying. Make sure that they fit your size and shape okay.

What to look for in a hiking shoes and walking shoes


Your feet need protection from rough terrain and harsh weather. A good pair of hiking boots and walking shoes should provide this. Look at what type of shoe you will be using while you hike. Do they have waterproof leather uppers? Is the sole durable enough to resist rocks and debris? Does it possess a breathable mesh lining to keep your feet dry and comfortable? Are they constructed specifically for hiking and walking? How many laces do they have? Do they have traction outsole cleats (or lack thereof) to help you stay on the surface where you want to go?


Walking shoes should fit snugly. Shoes that aren't tight will let air between the skin and the material and cause blisters. And they shouldn't slip off your feet easily either. The best choice for walking shoes is probably a boot style. These are comfortable and durable, and don't run the risk of slipping off.


An ideal pair of hiking shoes should have enough support for long walks and hikes. Softer sole materials are best suited for this purpose. A good pair of hiking shoes would not only provide stability, but also comfort. Stability ensures that foot feels secure and comfortable while walking. The shoe should have some sort of a heel counter for proper alignment of ankle joint when standing. A perfect pair of hiking shoes will give firm grip to the feet when climbing steep slopes.

Walkers and hikers need a lightweight shoe that's flexible. They should feel soft and supple, even after prolonged use. Choose a shoe that feels supportive on the ankle and isn't too stiff.

There are two types of support – lateral support and medial support. Lateral support refers to the midfoot area of the shoe while medial support refers to the forefoot area of the shoe. Each type of support should have different characteristics.

Lateral Support:

  • Midsole thickness: The midsole should be thick enough to offer adequate protection and add stability. The thicker the midsole, the better the shoe's performance. As a rule of thumb, choose between three options. A normal midsole (0.5 mm), a thin midsole (1 mm) and a thick midsole (1.5-2 mm).
  • Stability: Stiffness, flexibility and durability are some of the qualities of a good lateral support. Choose between flexible, stiff and durable midsoles. Flexible midsoles allow a wider range of motion while stiffer materials help keep the foot stable.

Medial Support:

  • Forefoot height: When choosing a good walking shoe, make sure that it has a high enough forefoot. If the forefoot is low, you will not feel comfortable in the shoe.
  • Toe box width: When selecting a good walking shoe, pay attention to its toe box size. You should be able to put your toes comfortably inside the box without having to bend down or move your feet around. Also, check out if the shoe has a wide, narrow or standard toe box. Wide toe boxes provide more room for movement, while narrow ones limit mobility. Standard toe boxes work well for people who wear several pairs of shoes at once.


Try different styles before buying. Don't be afraid to wear a pair around the house for a few days to get an idea of how the shoe fits. If these shoes are uncomfortable, you can always return them for a refund.


Waterproof materials prevent water from getting inside your shoe and making your feet soggy. This is especially true if you plan to wear these shoes in cold weather. Synthetic fabrics like nylon are lighter weight and more affordable than leather, but still offer excellent performance.


Balanced shoes are designed to give you greater control over your body movements. Most balance trainers are constructed with a rigid sole and a soft upper material. Balance shoes are popular among runners, swimmers and dancers.

  • Heel cushioning: Shoes designed specifically for dance tend to have added heel cushioning. These shoes are meant to reduce painful rubbing between your heels and the ground. Cushioning helps prevent blistering and chafing on your heels.
  • Firmness: Shoe firmness differs depending on your specific activity. While running or dancing, you need a softer shoe; while hiking, biking or cross training, you would want a firmer shoe.
  • Socks: Avoid wearing tight socks when using balance trainers. They could restrict circulation, causing blisters and calluses. Use breathable cotton or nylon socks instead.


You may spend hours walking or hiking over distances. Make sure the shoe fits comfortably and doesn't pinch or hurt your foot. The heel cup should be wide enough to accommodate various heel sizes without causing discomfort. A well-made shoe will allow the foot to move freely and not cause pain. Check the insoles first; if they're poorly designed, they'll trap moisture and bacteria and leave your feet feeling damp and uncomfortable.


Hiking shoes should not weigh much. Heavy weight shoes hinder the movement. If the weight is too heavy, then it could lead to injuries. Proper sizing of the shoe is necessary to avoid blisters and chafing. You may want to consider getting wide fitting shoes if you are tall.


Gripping power and traction are two important aspects of any hiking shoes. There should be a sticky rubber outsole for traction on slippery surfaces such as grass. Rubber soles provide great durability and longevity. However, they do not last forever and need replacing after prolonged use. Good grips reduce slippage on wet and dry surfaces.


Hiking shoes should resist water damage. Waterproof fabrics and mesh uppers help keep out moisture and debris. Wearing waterproof socks inside the shoes is advisable to prevent water entering the shoe interior.


Hiking shoes should fit well regardless of terrain. Consider buying both thick-soled and thin-soled shoes. Thick soled shoes will prove useful for rough terrains while thin sole shoes are ideal for smooth surfaces.


Most people spend around $50 on a pair of hiking shoes. Cheap hiking shoes are often poorly constructed, ill fitted, and uncomfortable. Look for quality brands such as Keen, Merrell, Salomon, and Teva.

Brand reputation

Be careful when choosing a brand name. Brands like Timberland, Skechers, Rockport, Merrell, Teva, and Brooks are all reputable companies. But there are also some less trusty names out there. Ask yourself if you know who makes the product you're looking at, and whether you trust their reputation.

What are some other types of shoes?

  • Athletic Shoe

Athletic shoe is a type of shoe used for activities that require agility and balance. These types of shoes usually feature a thick midsole and a soft exterior material. People who wear athletic shoes often enjoy wearing them for leisurely strolls and jogging. Many children choose to wear athletic shoes for school activities and sports.

  • Training Shoes

Training shoes are specifically designed for athletes. Their sole provides extra traction, while the upper features a breathable mesh fabric. Many people wear training shoes for various activities including tennis and football, although some people prefer to wear them while working out at the gym.

  • Fitness Shoe

Fitness shoes are generally worn for both walking and running. These types of shoes feature thick, cushioned soles, which provide additional comfort and protection. When choosing fitness shoes, look for designs that offer good arch support. You may purchase these types of shoes online and select from a variety of colors and patterns.

  • Running Shoes

Running shoes help promote proper foot alignment and stability. Runners need specially designed shoes to avoid injuries to the ankle, knee, and shin. Running shoes should fit snugly and have adequate cushioning. They must also allow enough room for the toes to expand naturally. Many runners choose to run barefoot to prevent blisters. However, it is recommended to wear socks whenever possible to protect the inner portion of the foot. Choose a style that offers excellent ventilation to keep feet dry and comfortable. If you're looking to make sure that your feet stay warm, consider purchasing a pair of winter running shoes.

  • Golf Shoes

Golfers can choose between traditional golf shoes and sneakers. Traditional golf shoes have more padding than sneakers and are typically more expensive. Sneakers are cheaper and lighter than traditional golf shoes, but offer less support. Sneakers are usually easier to clean and maintain.

  • Tennis Shoes

Tennis players need special tennis shoes to improve their game. Tennis shoes are designed to provide grip and stability. They also need to provide shock absorption and flexibility. Look for shoes that feel secure in your feet. The heel of a shoe should be strong and sturdy. A firm midsole absorbs shock well and protects the foot from injury.

  • Trail Runner

Trail Running (or hiking) is one of the best forms of exercise for people who want to lose weight. Walking and running provides enough cardio activity to burn calories while getting exercise at the same time. In order to run outside, you need good footwear that will protect your feet and help keep them safe. There are different types of shoes depending on whether you are looking for trail shoes or everyday shoes. Trail shoes have extra padding so they are able to handle the terrain of trails and rugged ground. If you do not live near any trails, then your only option would be to buy trail shoes online. But if you go out to purchase these shoes, make sure that you get quality footwear. Here are some of the things you should look for in a pair of trail running shoes.

  1. Comfortable Footbed

Your footbed is what keeps your soles protected from the terrain. A comfortable footbed reduces pressure points and makes it easier to walk in the shoe. Look for a shoe with thick midsoles, a cushioned toe area, and a thin heel counter to maximize comfort and reduce pain.

  1. Durable Sole

Just like any other type of shoe, your sole will wear down over time. Look for a durable sole that won't let small rocks chip away at it easily. While making sure that your soles are well-protected, avoid buying cheap shoes. Cheap soles tend to break after just a few months of use. You might find yourself replacing your shoes multiple times throughout your lifestyle. Look for sturdy soles that won't wear down fast.

  1. Waterproof Lining

It seems obvious, but waterproof linings are a necessity for trail shoes. They prevent water from penetrating the shoe and causing mildew and rot. Make sure that the lining is strong enough to withstand the elements without chafing your feet.

  1. Good Grip

If you are going to start a new lifestyle that includes regular trail running, you'll probably notice how your hands begin to ache after about half an hour of using them. Because of this, a great pair of trail shoes should have grippy outsoles that allow your feet to grip the ground. If your hands begin to hurt, stop running immediately until you can find a replacement set of shoes.

Grip will come in very handly while wrking outdoors. More and more people are starting to work remotely and every now and then a hike or walk might be necessary.

  1. Low Heel Height

Low heels are ideal for trail shoes because they provide stability. When you step on uneven surfaces, low heels will naturally roll inward, giving your feet a stable base. You may want to lower your heel height if you already have flat feet.

  1. Wide Toe Box

A wide toe box lets you comfortably spread your toes when stepping on rough terrain. Your toes should stay curled under when stepping off ramps and edges. Wider toe boxes also promote proper alignment.

How To Stay Safe When Hiking At Night

  • Always use a flashlight on any hiking trip: A headlamp is ideal; they're not much bigger than a pen flashlight. However, if you do have a flashlight, don't just leave it in your pack! You want to make sure you always carry at least two flashlights—one for yourself and one for your buddy(s).
  • If you hike alone, keep the batteries charged: It's good practice to replace them occasionally (every 1-2 months) and you'll get the most out of your flashlight. That way, if you need to find your way back home late at night without your phone, you won't end up getting lost.
  • Use reflective tape to protect your feet: It makes sense to wear bright orange shoes and clothes if you're going to be hiking at dusk, dawn, or nighttime. Reflective tape isn't exactly comfortable, though—wear socks if you want to avoid blisters.
  • Keep a map with you whenever possible: Not only does this help avoid getting lost, it can also provide valuable information about the trail ahead, like where the water source is located.
  • Make sure you know how to use your compass when you go hiking: Don't assume your GPS will lead you back home. That said, you shouldn't rely solely on technology, either. Know how to read a topographical map, interpret weather symbols, and recognize landmarks. You might even consider carrying a satellite phone or two, depending on what type of terrain you're crossing.
  • Carry water along with you: Even if you're following a well-known trail, it never hurts to bring some extra supplies. You never know when you'll encounter unexpected obstacles, especially after dark.
  • Be careful around fires: Never build campfires near streams or rivers, and remember that alcohol and fire aren't friends.
  • Don't forget to take care of yourself: If you start feeling ill while hiking, don't hesitate to call 911. Your body may not respond well to a sudden change in temperature, altitude, or lack of food and water.
  • Do some research before leaving home: Find out if any trails pass near your home and how long the hike should take before you reach your destination. Then plan accordingly.


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In conclusion, both hiking shoes and walking shoes can be suitable for outdoor activities, but they serve different purposes. Hiking shoes are designed for rugged terrain and offer more support and protection for the feet, ankles, and legs. They are typically more durable and have features such as a higher ankle collar, a thicker and more aggressive outsole, and a waterproof membrane. On the other hand, walking shoes are generally more suitable for flat surfaces and offer less support and protection. They are often lighter and more flexible, making them more comfortable for casual walking or urban environments.

Ultimately, the right shoe for you will depend on your specific needs and the type of terrain you will be tackling. If you plan on doing a lot of hiking on rough trails, a hiking shoe is the better choice. However, if you just need a comfortable shoe for walking around town or on paved surfaces, a walking shoe may be more suitable. It is important to consider the type of activity you will be doing and choose a shoe that is appropriate for the task at hand.

About Author:

image of Kevin Pommells

Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of CamperRules.com, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

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